Towards expanding the acute care team: Learning how to involve families in care processes

Rhonda M. Wyskiel, Bickey H. Chang, Adrian A. Alday, David A. Thompson, Michael A. Rosen, Aaron S. Dietz, Jill A. Marsteller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Effective teamwork is known to be important to improving health care outcomes. Current research often highlights teamwork among health care professionals without consideration of approaches to including family as part of the health care team. In this study, the authors assess family and provider openness to expanding the care team to include family participation and introduce the Family Involvement Menu as a tool to facilitate family engagement. Method: They collected 37 family surveys and 37 clinician surveys to understand the perception, comfort level, experience, and interest of family and clinicians in including family in the care of the patient. The majority of family reported being interested and comfortable in participating in care (95% and 92%, respectively). Results: The majority of clinicians considered family already to be part of the health care team (92%) though only 16% reported routinely inviting families to participate in direct patient care all the time. Multiple direct patient care activities were identified as promising opportunities for family engagement. Barriers to family engagement reported included the family being scared (19%), uncomfortable (19%), or unwilling (14%) or nurses not having enough time (14%) to involve families. Discussion: Engaging family has the potential to increase nursing availability for other tasks, enhance relationship building, and is an opportunity to introduce early education for family, better preparing them for transition of care and discharge. The Family Involvement Menu supports family engagement and can be a strategy to include family members as part of the health care team.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-249
Number of pages8
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Health care and/or health care
  • Patient and family engagement
  • Patient-centered care
  • Team

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards expanding the acute care team: Learning how to involve families in care processes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this